Non-Cancer Health Risk Assessment from Exposure to Cyanide by Resident Adults from the Mining Operations of Bogoso Gold Limited in Ghana

  • S. Obiri
  • D. K. Dodoo
  • F. Okai-Sam
  • D. K. Essumang


Cyanide is a very toxic chemical that is used to extract gold from its ores. Wastewaters from gold mining companies such as Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) contain cyanide and other potentially toxic chemicals that have adverse effects on human beings and aquatic organisms. This study was conducted to evaluate the human health risk assessment from exposure to free cyanide via oral and dermal contact of surface/underground water by resident adults within the concession of Bogoso Gold Limited. The chronic non-cancer health risk from exposure to cyanide in River Bogo Upstream is 230 and 43 (by Central Tendency Exposure (CTE) parameters respectively). This means that approximately 230 and 43 resident adults are likely to suffer diseases related to cyanide intoxication via oral and dermal contact respectively. For chronic exposure to River Bogo Downstream by resident adults, the non-cancer health risks are: 0.031 and 0.57 via oral and dermal contact for CTE parameters respectively, which also means that, the non-cancer health risks associated with cyanide intoxication is negligible as the hazard index is less than 1.0 via oral and dermal contacts respectively. The results showed that health risk for acute exposure to cyanide by the resident adults is very high. Hence the residents attribute most of the unexplained deaths in the communities to accidental ingestion and dermal contact of cyanide water.


Bogoso Dumasi free cyanide Prestea River Ankobra River Aprepre (popularly known as) River Dumasi River Bogo 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Obiri
    • 1
  • D. K. Dodoo
    • 1
  • F. Okai-Sam
    • 1
  • D. K. Essumang
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Research Group, Department of ChemistryUniversity of Cape CoastCape Coast

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